Bulcsú Mihaly (Hungarian Association of Social Workers (HASW))
Topic: Feasibility and interpretation of the global definition of social work in today’s Hungary, within the framework of the “Hybrid” state system of the so-called „National Cooperation”
Name of the Co-authors:
„Social Europe is Possible, Where No One is Left Behind!” But if I look at Hungarian society, which is split in two in terms of wealth and income, as well as in terms of opportunities to break out and catch up, I firmly state that the opposite of this statement is true in our country. Hungary’s social policy – provided that such a policy does exist at all – aims at the annulation of social work as a profession and means a return to the previous level of 50 years ago, to the world of charity.
In the recent years, the government has increasingly strengthened the negative social image of social problems, creating moral problems from the difficulties that afflict individuals, families and communities being homelessness, poor or belonging to a social minority. The government gave much less when it was needed and took away when it should have been given. The Hungarian government thereby created an “inverse welfare state”.
With the 2022 amendment of the Social Security Act – which was carried out without substantive, prior consultation and without caring about the protests of the professional organizations – the state tries to reduce its own responsibility in ensuring social security, releases the hands of the weak and needy and emphasizes individual responsibility, which is a serious problem.
This is how we return in Hungary from social work to charity. It seems that only civil initiatives can continue the traditions of social work. The newly re-formed Hungarian Association of Social Workers continuously protests the negative changes presented above with its resolutions and demonstrations. Our association faces many challenges: the outsourcing of the care system, the decreasing number of professionals, the growth of social inequalities, the rise of the ‘care policy’ narrative and the neglect of social work as a profession.